Troy Paiva: Cars From The Dead

After downloading Stephen King’s Mile 81 novella onto my iPhone last night (I like to wait until the wife is asleep and read under the duvet)I couldn’t help but notice the eye-catching cover art. Intrigued, I tapped the artist’s name into my phone’s Notes feature and, oblivious of the amazing world that awaited me, I went to sleep.

The name I recalled from my phone the following day was Troy Paiva, and one search into Google images filled my screen, eyes, mind and soul with a barrage of stark and contrasting colours that accurately (and rather eerily) represented everything I feel about the automobile and the personalities they possess. As you may know, nothing excites Gargling Gas more than cars with attitude, machines possessing a sense there is something more than electrics and mechanics going on behind their headlights.

With a vision expressed through lighting and a penchant for exploring the abandoned and unknown at night, Troy Paiva manages to inject colour, life and drama into the ostensibly listless and dead.

Troy Paiva has been stalking the night for images since 1989. Whether it’s abandoned buildings or junkyards, or simply exploring places he considers the ruins of a “Lost America”, Paiva finds inspiration through his sense of isolation and loneliness.

Thinking of himself as more an “Urban Explorer” than an artist and photographer, Paiva has also penned books about his night-time experiments with loneliness and light. “I love the surreal feeling of wandering through an abandoned subdivision, alone, in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Your senses become heightened and you feel the weight of time.”

Personally I am extremely excited because, not only do I adore and need all of these photographs hanging in my home, but Paiva “gets” it, he understands how static objects (especially machines) set within bleak backgrounds can evoke feelings and tease the senses if viewed a certain way.

Take the guy above, for example – whilst some (my wife and mother-in-law included) may see it as a horror B-movie prop, Gargling Gas and the majority of our readers (I hope) see her as an orphan that first needs taming, naming and then given a home, a place where she’ll be cared for, restored, loved and cherished.

But then that could just be me…

If you want to see more of these stunning shots, check out Paiva’s galleries

And remember folks, Gargling Gas exists because cars have feelings too…

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When Cars were Cars R.I.P.

Trawling the net for cool car stuff this morning, I happened upon a decent car site called AMCAR Guide and a particular page featuring some “Junkyard Beauties”. Compared with the cars of today, these machines are wonderful, charming and exciting to look at, and it’s a shame they eventually meet their end. However, there’s something beautiful about a junkyards like these – the way the clunkers now sit, battered and bruised, their bent grilles now twisted smiles, their broken headlamps, tired eyes.

It’s not all doom and gloom though; thousands of classic car enthusiasts flock to places like these, and it’s these rust-filled burial grounds that allow running examples to roar up and down the highways of today. One man’s petrol pump is a chance to make $100, whilst for another it’s the chance to cruise the highway in a restored classic.

Anyway, take a look at these cool graveyard, I mean, junkyard shots – they are fantastic.